Saturday, September 24, 2011

So Apple Together

After my first official cooking class -- with me as the teacher -- this summer, it took me a while to build up enthusiasm and interest in doing it again. Fortunately, my contacts at Today's Kitchen Store were both patient and encouraging, and since you know my love of local foods, you can imagine it didn't take long before I was ready to sign up for another class -- or three.

The first class I developed for this fall was yet another Local Roots-sponsored class aimed at featuring one particular produce item and sharing with people the joys and the ease of eating seasonally. After talking about blueberries in July, it seemed fitting to stick with fruit and to come up with "An Apple a Day" for the class theme.

The menu I had planned ranged from breakfast to dessert, and everything included apples from Moreland Fruit Farms:

--Apple Sausage Hash Browns with potatoes from Boii Gardens, lamb sausage from Fox Hollow Farm, onion from Martha's Farm, and cheddar cheese from Meadow Maid

--September Salad, a mixture of salad greens from Martha's Farm with some nasturtiums from my garden, a homegrown carrot and herbs, Swiss cheese from Heritage Grass Farms, hickory nuts from The Shepherd's Market, and a hickory vinaigrette with hickory syrup from Simple Products

--Harvest Saute, with butternut squash from The People's Garden, more onions, homegrown garlic and sage, rosemary from Karen's Garden Delights, my homemade garlic-shallot jam, red wine from the Winery at Wolf Creek, homegrown chard, wheat berries from Covered Bridge Gardens, and Black Swamp Gouda from Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese

--Garden of Eden Apple Tart, with homegrown rose petals, wheat flour from Stutzman Farms, butter from Hartzler Dairy, and local honey

Along with the cooking demo, I had the class sample four different varieties of apples that are at their peak now: Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Empire, and Cortland. They enjoyed eating the apple slices plain or dipping them into the goat milk caramel from Sugar Nanny.

Everyone in the class seemed to have a blast, and they had plenty of good questions and ideas, as well as rave reviews for the food. Happily, I had everything planned out well and only had one gap where we were waiting for something, but everything wrapped up in the allotted time frame. I didn't get any pictures during the class (of course), but Rick (the owner) took plenty and posted the best on Facebook.

The next class I'll be teaching at Today's Kitchen Store will be a garlic class, and my friend the Delighted Gardener (Karen Geiser) will talk about different varieties of garlic and how to grow it while I show off easy ways to prep and enjoy garlic in the kitchen. Should be fun -- and fragrant!

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